A term applied to a number of intestinal disorders, especially of the colon, characterized by inflammation of the mucous membranes. Types of dysentery: amebic, bacillary, balantidial, malignant, viral.
Bacterial or viral infection; infestation of protozoa or parasitic worms (see Worms); chemical irritants. Inflammation of the rectum and large intestine, insufficient foods, improper diet, drinking too much liquid with meals, overeating, wrong combinations of foods, stimulating foods, liquor, tea, coffee, drinking impure water, unhygienic surroundings, eating fruits or vegetables that have begun to decompose, eating foods that have been standing in pantries that are not well ventilated, and eating improperly refrigerated, contaminated foods. Irritated bowels, habitual constipation, and taking certain types of medicine, such as laxatives, may also be the cause.
Abdominal pain, tenesmus (spasmodic contractions of anal or vesicle sphincter with pain and persistent desire to empty the bowel or bladder, with involuntary ineffectual straining efforts), diarrhea with passage of mucus or blood. More or less fever, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, and restless at night. Sometimes the abdomen is distended. Severe symptoms: Increasing fever, great thirst, red tongue, the abdomen may appear sunken in some cases, straining ceases, and the bowels become relaxed and may protrude. Passage of urine is infrequent and is accompanied by a burning sensation. The pulse becomes slow, breathing is rapid, and generally the patient looks pale and emaciated. Do not let this condition continue. See a doctor for the severe symptoms.